Capacity Building

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Erie Arts & Culture knows that the arts and humanities are key contributors to a community's vibrancy and identity.  Because of that, we provide capacity building services directly to the region's cultural organizations and creative professionals as they implement processes, policies, and procedures to scale their work, reach broader audiences, grow their impact, and sustain their operations. Our dedication to capacity building is an investment in the effectiveness and future sustainability of the cultural and creative sectors. Through our capacity building services, Erie Arts & Culture nurtures resilient individuals and organizations - equipping them with the knowledge, skills, and resources to serve an always evolving community. 

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Erie Arts & Culture's capacity building services sometimes come in the form of funding, such as grants and fellowships. In fact, at one point in time, Erie Arts & Culture was almost solely viewed as a grantmaking organization. But, our role as a capacity builder extends further beyond financial support. We work with individuals and organizations within our sector to:

  • Affirm and refine purpose
  • Develop an external perspective to see their work from the outside in
  • Establish methods for reflection, continuous improvement, and adaptation
  • Strengthen governance processes
  • Cultivate trusted advisors, mentors, and partners
  • Build robust planning, financial, and operational systems
  • Generate short and long-term plans with benchmarks and metrics
  • Advance diversity, equity, and inclusion

“The Erie Center for Arts & Technology (ECAT) is a new nonprofit in Erie that is dedicated to providing after-school, high-quality visual arts programming to high-school aged students. During our first year of operation, ECAT greatly benefitted from the knowledge, network and resources provided by Erie Arts & Culture (EAC). Most importantly, EAC has connected us with local teaching artists and served as a connection point to the larger arts community in Erie. As we begin to plan for long-term programming at the former Wayne School, we are grateful for the capacity-building and support that EAC provides, which will ensure that our programs are robust, effective and meet local needs.”

--Daria Devlin, Executive Director, Erie Center for Arts & Technology

“Erie Arts & Culture has provided J&J Productions assistance with seeking various funding sources for our local productions. They’ve also facilitated introductions between us and other theater companies and artists within the community to benefit collaborative efforts. Erie Arts & Culture has been instrumental in helping J&J Productions refine its goals and explore new ways of sharing our talents with growing audiences.”

-- Jermaine Beason, Co-Founder, J&J Productions 

"Erie Arts & Culture has played a key role in the growth of the Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania. Their staff has always provided a solid sounding board for new ideas and initiatives. Once they learned of our long-term goal to leverage Erie’s film industry as an economic driver, EAC responded with an eagerness to spread our mission and connect us with the right people to help us reach our goal. EAC was instrumental in our current relationship with the Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership, which has resulted in economic impact studies, revenue strategies, and the foundation to make the FSNWPA a pillar of the community.”

-- John C Lyons, Executive Director, Film Society of Northwestern Pennsylvania

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For those who are interested in financial support, Erie Arts & Culture provides funding opportunities for artists, non-profit organizations, community groups, schools, colleges and universities, and municipalities.

Annually, Erie Arts & Culture, through its official partnership with the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), provides grant funding for cultural projects and programs in five counties in Northwestern Pennsylvania, including: 

  • Erie
  • Crawford
  • Warren
  • Mercer
  • Venango

 

PCA Grantmaking service counties

Funds for these grants are supported by taxpayers from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Because of that, projects and programs supported through these grantmaking channels must have a significant public component. As a Pennsylvania Council on the Arts partner, Erie Arts & Culture strives to be a responsible steward of public dollars.

Erie Arts & Culture also manages the Erie Arts Endowment, which totals nearly $4 million. Each year, the agency administers grants to support creative projects in Erie County that are bold and groundbreaking, raise cultural awareness, or increase access to the arts.

Through the Erie Arts Endowment, Erie Arts & Culture also awards three unrestricted artist fellowships every year. These funds are intended to be used by Erie County artists to delve deeper into their creative processes and assist them in their pursuit of artistic development and growth.

Opportunities for Organizations

Opportunities for Individuals

Please contact Chanel Cook at Chanel@erieartsandculture.org or call 814-452-3427 x 102 if you have any questions about our capacity building services.